This version is translated by Nicolette Wong

The following timeline is a selection of important events in the dance development in Hong Kong from the late 1940s to the 1980s, with the oral history materials provided by the interviewees and other reference materials as the basis for compilation. It offers glimpses into Hong Kong dance in the pre-professionalisation era.

*The first teachers’ training college in Hong Kong, Northcote Training College, offers folk dance courses taught by a foreign instructor.
*The Hong Kong & Kowloon Spinning, Weaving & Dyeing Trade Workers General Union sets up its song and dance troupe. The troupe promotes and performs Chinese ethnic and folk dances.


*Carol Bateman School of Dancing, Hong Kong’s first established ballet school, is founded.
*Hok Yau Dancing Club is founded. It is later renamed Hok Yau Club. The club organises Western dance, Chinese dance and ballet courses and performances.

*The Hong Kong Chinese Reform Association is founded. It promotes Chinese dance among the public, and fosters the development of Oriental and Western group dances.

*The Hong Kong & Kowloon Musical Education Research Institute is founded. It promotes Oriental and Chinese dances, Western dance and children’s dance drama.

*A number of ballet schools are founded in Hong Kong. The founders come from the UK, Soviet Union, and the US.

*Great Wall Movie Enterprise is founded. Chinese dance and ethnic dance scenes feature in many of the company’s films, such as The Peerless Beauty and Flowers and Cheers.
*The Grantham Training College is founded. The Grantham Training College, Northcote Training College, and Sir Robert Black Training College are later amalgamated into The Hong Kong Institute of Education. Dance training is compulsory for all students enrolled in the Department of Physical Education, as dance becomes part of the physical education curriculum.
*The Chinese Student Weekly is launched. The newspaper later sets up a dance unit. It mainly offers Western folk dance classes in the early days, and later switches to offering Chinese dance classes.

*Feng Huang Motion Picture Company and Sun Luen Film Company are founded. Chinese dance and ethnic folk scenes feature in many of the films by the companies, such as Lau Hai Meets Fairies and The Reluctant Bridegroom.
*Carol Bateman School of Dancing introduces the Royal Academy of Dance’s Graded Examinations syllabus, and invites Joan Campbell to be a guest instructor in Hong Kong.
*Motion Picture & General Investment is founded. The company produces many Western-style musical films, such as Mambo Girl, Calendar Girl and The Wild, Wild Girl.

*The Adult Education Unit, Education Department establishes the first adult education recreation centre, which operates on the campus of a government school in the evening. It devotes considerable resources to promoting folk dance in the 1960s and 1970s.
*At the invitation of the Hong Kong Chinese Reform Association and the British Council, the Chinese Folk Artists visits Hong Kong to present Chinese ethnic dance performances including Picking Tea Leaves and Catching Butterflies, Red Ribbon Dance, and Fan Dance.


*The Royal Academy of Dance sends an examiner to conduct examinations in Hong Kong for the first time.
*lide yingsheng (Rediffusion Picture and Sound), later renamed Rediffusion Television, commences broadcast. In the late 1960s, the TV station presents many variety shows featuring dance performance, such as jinyu mantang (House of Prosperity), wanzi qianhong (A Blaze of Colours), qunxing hui (A Showcase of Stars), xiangjiang huayue ye (Hong Kong Nocturne).
*The Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Limited is founded. The company produces many musical films, such as Les Belles and Love Parade.


*The Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong organises a folk dance workshop, and invites American folk dance teacher Rickey Holden to conduct the workshop in Hong Kong.


*Ten left-wing schools plan to hold the Ten-School Sports Day (also called the Ten-School Sports Performance), with different performances by students planned for the opening ceremony. The event is banned by the police and subsequently cancelled.
*The Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong sets up the Fong Yuen Club. The club is primarily an organiser of folk dance activities.
*The Southern Drama Group is founded. It provides acting training for the actors of the Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Limited.
*The Hong Kong City Hall opens. It becomes an important performance venue for overseas dance companies visiting Hong Kong and for the staging of local dance works.
*The China Arts Troupe visits Hong Kong, and it presents performances and workshops at the Hong Kong City Hall and Astor Theatre. The troupe’s performance programme includes changchouwu (Long Silk Dance) and Banna yueye (Moonlit Night in Banna).
*The Hong Kong Ballet Group is founded.
*The Education Department organises the First Hong Kong Schools Dance Festival, with Western Folk Dance being the main competition category. In the following year, the Oriental Dance category, which includes Chinese dance, is introduced.
*The 1967 riots breaks out in Hong Kong. It inspires a number of responding works by dance artists such as huo ji (The Sacrificial Fire) and da fengbao (The Tempest).


*Television Broadcasts Limited commences broadcast. The TV station launches the variety show Enjoy Yourself Tonight in which dance performance is heavily featured. The song-and-dance segments of the annual Miss Hong Kong Pageant also introduces dance to a wider public.
*The Hong Kong government organises the First Festival of Hong Kong.


*Hong Kong Ballet for All is founded.
* The Education Department organises a student dance delegation comprised by the award-winning teams in the Hong Kong Schools Dance Festival. The delegation performs in the World Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan.


*The Education Department introduces Modern Educational Dance as a competition category in the Hong Kong Schools Dance Festival.
*The Hong Kong government introduces universal primary education, which contributes to local schools becoming key venues for learning dance.
*The first large-scale Mandarin musical production in Hong Kong, Madame White Snake, is staged.
*The Hong Kong Arts Festival Society organises the First Hong Kong Arts Festival.
*The Recreation and Sports Service Department is founded. The department organises and promotes recreational and sports activities across Hong Kong.


*The Hong Kong Ballet Group patron Dame Margot Fonteyn and German dancer Heinz Bosl visit Hong Kong, and present a fund-raising performance for the group.


*The Kwun Tong District Dance Contest invites Lau So-kam to be its Artistic Director.
*The Urban Council organises the inaugural Oriental Folk Dance.
*The Urban Council organises the First Festival of Asian Arts.


*The Education Department organises the Hong Kong Schools Chinese Dance Team to represent Hong Kong and attend the International Festival of Youth Orchestras and Performing Arts.


*The Hong Kong Ballet Group establishes the “Heinz Bosl Memorial Scholarship” in memory of dancer Hein Bosl. It offers funding for scholarship recipients to attend summer schools overseas for further studies in dance.
*The Hong Kong Arts Centre opens.


*American dance artist Daryl Ries arrives in Hong Kong. She offers modern dance and jazz dance courses at the Hong Kong Arts Centre on a regular basis, and serves as the Artistic Director of the Modern Dance Centre of the Hong Kong Arts Centre.
*The China Arts Troupe visits Hong Kong and presents a number of multi-art form performances.


*The Hong Kong Academy of Ballet is founded, and it introduces a three-year full-time professional ballet programme. The academy closes in 1985.


*The Hong Kong Dance Federation is founded with the mission of promoting dance development in Hong Kong.


*The Academic Community Hall of Hong Kong Baptist College organises the International Arts Festival. The Hong Kong Experimental Ballet Theatre is commissioned to create and perform the large-scale ethnic dance theatre, Stone Girl, at the Academic Community Hall. Chung King-fai and Lau Siu-ming are Artistic Directors of the production.
*The Gansu Song and Dance Troupe visits and performs Along the Silk Road in Hong Kong.


*The Hong Kong Ballet Academy Dance Company is founded. It is later renamed Hong Kong Ballet.


*The City Contemporary Dance Company is founded.
*The Heung Yee Kuk N.T. organises the Heung Yee Kuk’s Dance Delegation to the Festival of Hong Kong in London. Lau So-kam is the dance instructor of the delegation.


*The North District Arts Advancement Association sets up the North District Dance Troupe.
*The Urban Council founds the Hong Kong Dance Company.


*The Fukien Athletic Club performing arts team visits Xiamen for cultural exchange. Lau So-kam is the artistic co-ordinator, and Helen Lai and Willy Tsao are choreographers for the team.
*The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts is founded.
*The Hong Kong Dance Federation Elite Dance Company is founded. Its predecessor was an elites dance troupe managed by the Recreation and Sports Services Department, and which took part in overseas performances organised by the government.

Reference materials

Hong Kong Dance Sector Joint Conference: Hong Kong Dance History (Hong Kong: Cosmos Books Ltd., 2000).